Record number of WBBL|07 matches to be televised this year
A record 47 Women’s Big Bash League matches will be broadcast nationally on television this year – an almost five-fold increase since the League’s inception just seven years ago.
The remarkable growth of the competition – Australia’s fourth most-watched sporting league after the KFC BBL, AFL and NRL – was underscored with today’s schedule release for the WBBL|07 season.
In the WBBL’s first season, ten matches were televised, followed by 12 in WBBL|02 and WBBL|03, 23 in WBBL|04 and WBBL|05 and 36 last season. The 47 matches to be televised this season – 24 simulcast on Seven and Foxtel, with a further 23 on Foxtel – confirms the WBBL’s enormous popularity with Australian audiences and standing as the world’s best T20 league for women.
All 59 matches will also be streamed live on Kayo Sports with 35 matches on cricket.com.au. Matches will also be available on ABC Radio.
The expanded broadcast commitment represents another major step in growing cricket as a sport for women and girls in Australia, harnessing the momentum from the iconic ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Final at the MCG and successful WBBL|06 campaign.
In more good news for fans, the best players from across Australia and around the world will return to home grounds in all six states. Assuming public health conditions allow, the national, festival-based format will be re-installed – and feature matches in metro and regional areas – after last season was played entirely in a bio-secure hub due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
North Sydney Oval will play host to the season-opener on Thursday, October 14 with the Sydney Sixers taking on the Melbourne Stars, the first of nine Sydney-based matches in the first week shared between that venue and Blacktown International Sportspark.
The competition will then move across the country over the following five weeks, visiting at least 11 venues including, for the first time in WBBL history, Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Matches will also return to the CitiPower Centre, Great Barrier Reef Arena (Mackay), the WACA Ground, Lilac Hill, Karen Rolton Oval, Centennial Park Oval (Nuriootpa), Blundstone Arena and University of Tasmania Stadium.
A three-game, top four Finals series remains. Finals Series matches will be played on Wednesday, November 24 and Thursday, November 25, with the Final itself to take place in primetime following day one of the historic Vodafone Men’s Test between Australia and Afghanistan in Hobart on Saturday, November 27.
The WBBL will continue to monitor the public health situation throughout the summer and prioritise the health and safety of fans, players, staff and officials in all its decisions.
Further information regarding club memberships and ticket availability will be released shortly.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Big Bash Leagues, said:
“We’re excited to announce a WBBL|07 schedule today that demonstrates the incredible commitment of our broadcast partners Seven, Foxtel, Kayo, ABC Radio and cricket.com.au to the League.
“To commit to televising 47 matches this season demonstrates the incredible growth and depth of our competition, which is firmly cemented as Australia’s highest rating women’s sporting league on a per game basis.
“We’re also delighted to take the competition back to our passionate and loyal fans around the country provided it is safe to do so. We’re hoping to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to watch their teams live, along with the millions watching on TV across Australia and around the world.
“Like all sporting leagues, we remain conscious of the need to be flexible in response to the challenges of the pandemic. This schedule provides us with a number of options should we need to pivot, and the lessons of WBBL|06 and KFC BBL|10 stand us in good stead should we need to do so.
“We’d like to thank our League partners for their incredible support of the WBBL. Likewise, we also thank all eight Clubs for their passion and commitment to growing the competition and wish them all the best in WBBL|07.”
Lewis Martin, Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport, said:
“The WBBL stands alone as the world’s #1 women’s T20 competition. The world’s best cricketers are set to return this summer, led by Aussie superstars Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy, while the players are among elite sport’s most down-to-earth and engaging personalities. We can’t wait to bring fans all the action again, live and free.”
Steve Crawley, Fox Sports Executive Director, said:
“This year Fox Cricket will showcase a 30% increase in our WBBL coverage plus Australia’s only dedicated women’s cricket show, The Blast returns.
“Fox Cricket is the place for cricket lovers.
“With Cricket Australia we continue to drive the WBBL to where it should be - the biggest women’s sports competition in Australia and no doubt one of the greatest in the world.”